Residents: Duxbury Beach Needs More Sand
- Written by Administrator
Jim Ryan of Bay Avenue asked selectmen for their help in contacting state and federal politicians in order to find funding that would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to use the material it dredges from the mouth of Green Harbor to replenish the sand on this area of the beach. Ryan said that every year this was standard practice for the Army Corps until 1991, when some beach abutters in Marshfield refused to grant easements to allow the re-nourishment pipe pass over their properties. These abutters were concerned about the noise from the pipe when cobbles, or rocks, went through, according to Ryan.
Ryan said that in the past 16 years, the beach in front of the seawall that guards his and many other homes has eroded by at least eight feet. When he moved in 31 years ago, Ryan said the sand measured four feet below the top of the sea wall. Now, he said, it is 11 feet below.
"We're losing our sand drastically fast," said Ryan, who represented both the Webster Island Beach Association, which is made up of residents of Bay Avenue and the Duxbury Beach Residents Association, which consists of Gurnet Road residents.
Replacing the sand will protect the seawall that underwent a partial repair project in June, said Ryan. This cost $350,000, with the town expecting a $165,000 reimbursement from the state, which owns the wall.
"When the beach was nourished by direct placement of sand in the past, the sea wall was protected and the high tide rarely came as high as the seawall," stated Ryan in a letter to selectmen. "Almost every tide now is within eight to ten feet of the wall. All high tides at a full moon splash over the wall and cause significant damage to property and severe sand dune erosion."
Currently, the dredged material from the Green Harbor entrance is put on a barge that disperses it along the beach in the water.
"Some summers the sand comes in, sometimes we only get one to two feet," said Ryan.
Ryan has been in contact with the Army Corps of Engineers who indicated that there was no funding allocated for the beach re-nourishment program.
That's why he was seeking the selectmen's assistance to raise the awareness of the situation on the beach and begin the process of getting politicians interested in helping. The beach associations have already written to Senator Edward Kennedy, Senator John Kerry, Representative William Delahunt, Representative Frank Hynes and state Senator Robert Hedlund. Hynes has toured the beach site also. Ryan wants Duxbury selectmen to write to these officials, too.
Selectmen Chairman Andre Martecchini was willing to help bring together officials from the Department of Environmental Protection, Coastal Zone Management and the Army Corps as well as Marshfield officials to see what this type of project entails.
"I think we can facilitate such a meeting," Martecchini said.
Martecchini asked if the owners of the beach, the Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc., had been informed of the residents' plans. Ryan said the trustees were in favor of the re-nourishment plan because sand from this part of the beach typically washes down to the public area at Duxbury Beach Park and further to the residents' parking lot beach area.